California-based artists Sonny Kay and Jeff Jordan were brought together through the distinctive artwork that they created for the progressive-rock darlings The Mars Volta. Jordan’s contributions to the band include multiple paintings used for album artwork; Kay’s ties with Volta songwriter Omar Rodriguez Lopez span back to his days heading Gold Standard Laboratories, and most recently, he has designed the band’s stage backdrop and tour merchandise.
Both artists create loud, boisterous pieces with eye-catching imagery, but their processes and media are very different. Jordan’s work is completely hand-rendered, created using traditional acrylic and oil paint, whereas Kay’s artwork is pieced together in an entirely digital context, using found imagery from the web. Although the artists use contrasting techniques, it is their eye-catching subject matter that links the two artists together visually. Both Jordan and Kay work in the genre of surrealism; their works incorporate vivid textures, bright colors, and fantastical elements to create ironic, psychedelic, and dream-like landscapes.
Their joint exhibition, Parallel Universes, opens November 20 at Hold Up art gallery in Los Angeles and runs there through December 5.